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Am J Infect Control. 2013 Jan;41(1):71-4. doi: 10.1016/j.ajic.2012.02.012. Epub 2012 Jun 30.

Compliance with surgical antibiotic prophylaxis at an Australian teaching hospital.

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  • 1Department of Infectious Diseases, Barwon Health, Geelong Hospital, Bellerine Street, Geelong, VIC 3220, Australia.



Surgical antibiotic prophylaxis (SAP) is one practice proven to prevent surgical site infections.


Compliance of SAP choice, timing, and duration with guidelines was assessed utilizing prospectively collected surgical site infection (SSI) surveillance data from January 2008 through September 2010.


Antibiotic choice was adequate or optimal in 97% of cardiac and orthopedic joint replacement procedures and 89% of colorectal procedures. In 6% to 8% of surgical procedures, SAP was not administered within 1 hour of the incision. SAP was continued beyond 24 hours in 20% of cardiac operations and 13% of colorectal procedures. Numerous combinations of antibiotics were used for prophylaxis, including ticarcillin/clavulanic acid in 67% of colorectal procedures. Many choices were not in keeping with both local and international recommendations. Deep SSI rates for cardiac procedures were above the state aggregate rate in 2010 only, whereas SSI rates for colorectal surgery were in excess of the state aggregate rate for all quarters. Antimicrobial-resistance data indicate a gradual increase in extended-spectrum β-lactamase-producing bacteria.


In cardiac and colorectal surgery, the optimal choice of SAP is seldom administered, and duration of SAP is excessively long. More education and communication are required to improve these practices.

Copyright © 2013 Association for Professionals in Infection Control and Epidemiology, Inc. Published by Mosby, Inc. All rights reserved.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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